At Orange Patch Dairy, good nutrition and excellent feed quality are the keys to happy and healthy cows. Our cows eat rations that are based primarily on forages (chopped plant material). Since forage is the key ingredient in our rations, we work every growing season to make the best possible forages for our cows. High quality forages also help us to reduce the amounts of feeds that we purchase to balance out our cows’ nutritional needs. Alfalfa and corn are the two sources of forage for our cows. We make 5 cuttings of alfalfa on 130 acres each season. Alfalfa haylage provides our cows’ protein and energy needed to make wholesome and nutritious milk. We strive to improve our haylage quality by chopping and cutting quickly, and we depend on our fleet of AGCO tractors and our Hesston Diskbine to make that possible. We cut our 130 acres of alfalfa in one day, allow it to dry, and merge and chop/harvest it on the following day. Timing is everything, because alfalfa that is too wet or too dry will not store well in silage bags. Even though our tractors are older, they are reliable, and that’s critical when making hay. Our cows’ well being depends on it.